Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Rob Mathes Benefit Concert for Dana's Angels Research Trust

Tuesday, December 02, 2008


Well.......what can you say about these musician types???? Apparently
you are nothing if your website is not TOGETHER MAN!!! Well.....I
guess I am..............

So many of my illustrious colleagues have beautiful and up to date
websites. There are plans that will come to fruition in the early part
of 2009 to combine the sites. robmathes.com has been somewhat
correctly accused of being a bit corporate in tone and though the
robmathesmusic.com site is hipper in design, having been done 10 years
later, it is all about Evening Train which is now 5 years old (still
the one record one would need to know to know me though). There is no
longer an open gallery page and I only wrote about 5 or 6 blogs in the
last 6 or 7 years on that site. There is a more recent blog about
Panic At The Disco and Radiohead and others that is passionate and
somewhat worth reading though. Scope it out. I was actually scheduled
to work with a fairly famous and gifted singer recently and she looked
at my website robmathes.com and chose another arranger. Is that
hilarious or what???? It wasn't a musical decision I was told but
rather a "FONT" aversion I guess. I supposed I asked for it :0(

Chris Botti is an old friend who has a remarkable band. His guitarist
Mark Whitfield and his drummer Billy Kilson are ridiculously gifted
and yet their websites are also in dire need of design and information
help. I am comforted that I am NOT ALONE!!

OK....what have I been doing with my life????

Over the last two years the most important projects have been Panic At
The Disco's second record Pretty. Odd. which I produced, scoring the
Polish Brothers films Astronaut Farmer and the upcoming Manure both
featuring Billy Bob Thornton and with Stuart Matthewman of Sade and
Maxwell fame, my first major original instrumental commission for a
major orchestra and my record Orchestral Songs, not the promised
Evening Train sequel but a collection of occasionally artsy but
heartfelt songs for Voice and Orchestra. There are a number of tunes
with band on OS and indeed true grooves on there but a lot of it will
seem like a departure.

Panic's record consumed about five months of my life in late 2007 and
early 2008 and was the most fun I have ever had in the recording
studio. It got rave reviews and I am hoping to do the next one. If I
don't, having done that one was enough joy for a lifetime. For those
who were skeptical of the band after their first record, I highly
recommend P.O. as an incredibly musical work by a band of smart and
gifted writers that keep getting better.

I have continued to arrange for people and produce other tracks. I
arranged a few tracks for Grace Potter and The Nocturnals, Butch
Walker again---a long term collaborator who has just released a
magnificent record---Sycamore Meadows after his house was destroyed in
the California fires---, Blake, and Secondhand Serenade.

Concord Records is releasing a new Vanessa Williams record to
capitalize on the big success of Ugly Betty. I produced three Latin
inflected tracks for it, all recorded with musicians from Mark
Anthony's band including legendary Latin Percussionist Luisito
Quintero and the great keyboardist Ricky Gonzales. I produced a record
"In Color" for Michael Cavanaugh, who was discovered by Billy Joel and
starred in the Twyla Tharp musical Movin' Out on Broadway. A very
gifted straight down the middle Rock/Pop singer from Cleveland, we
recorded some of it at my home away from home Abbey Road and there is
some strong stuff on there, especially Michael's take on a few Joel
songs and his insane boogie woogie piano playing on the Joe Turner
classic "Roll 'Em Pete". A number of years ago Melissa Errico, who has
starred in a number of Broadway shows, asked me to produce something
for her after seeing me musically direct the Bono tribute Grammy week
a few years ago. I produced her "Lullabies and Wildflowers" on Velour.

Meeting Stuart Matthewman was true serendipity. A great vibe creator
who was the master behind so much of Sade's music and that incredible
Maxwell debut record "Urban Hang Suite". Stuart is great at melody and
track creation but does not orchestrate or arrange and he himself
would say he is harmonically challenged when working in the Classical
or Jazz idiom though his ear is ridiculous. On both the films I was
encouraged and allowed to use some of Stuart's themes and compose much
of the score for the orchestra and on the new film, a mini Big Band.
"Manure" the new film (hilarious with Tea Leoni and Billy Bob) has a
soundtrack which is like Dragnet meets Quincy Jones meets Oliver
Nelson. A true hoot to record and another reunion with Joe Bonadio,
the drummer and percussionist on all the early Christmas stuff
including William The Angel.

I have continued to musically direct The Songwriter's Hall of Fame and
the Kennedy Center Honors which are both highlights of the year every
year. Epic Records called to have me quickly arrange a few tracks for
the winner of the America's Got Talent show Neil E Boyd. Neil is a big
kid from St. Louis with a huge voice. We did it in two long days.
Though no reinvention of any wheel, just basically straight up but
musical versions of holiday classics, he is performing at the NBC Tree
Lighting and it was a few days of bliss recording with my favorite New
York string section on one of the last working days at Legacy Studios
A 509, the last great room for orchestral recording in New York which
closed November 30th. A sign of the times and another subject


The two things I end with are the two things closest to my heart right
now. I composed a piece for the Nashville Symphony and Leonard Slatkin
that will be premiered February 5th in Nashville. The other piece on
the program is Brahms First Piano Concerto with Emanuel Ax (NO
PRESSURE THERE!!!!). Slatkin and the Nashville Symphony won the Grammy
for Best Classical Album in 2007 so besides the pressure to do
something strong anyway, I wanted to write something completely
unified and not at all some kind of crossover piece written by a
supposed "arranger of pop music". Some of the songs on Orchestral
Songs like "When You Are Old", "Embroidered Cloths" and "The Rose, The
Lily, The Sun, and The Dove" point the way for this piece.

Those who know me well know that since I was in my early 20's I have
not left my home without a box of Stravinsky, Mahler and Britten under
my arm. I also studied intensely with composer Myron Fink at SUNY
Purchase and Hunter College. I know what I am doing and indeed feel I
have a sound of my own if I am allowed to say that, though critics
will note I come from the tradition of many others, influenced by
American masters such as Bernstein & Corigliano & Copland & Barber
plus mid Period Stravinsky & even Sondheim. These men created bodies
of work which create ridiculous and impossible standards I will surely
not live up to but they are what I grew up on nevertheless. I did my
best but what was supposed to take me 30 days took 53 days and
consumed me. It is a very tonal and open piece of music and its title
is A Standing Ground: Concertino for Orchestra (after Poems of Wendell
Berry). I will put the program note at the bottom of this update. My
hope is that it is a worthy 15 to 20 minutes of time spent listening
to music. I don't claim anything other than it is the best I have to

The other thing is the completion of rhythm tracks on the much awaited
(by friends and fans locally and the guys in the band like Will Lee,
Billy Masters and Shawn Pelton) Wheelbarrow, Evening Train's sequel.
This is music of some intensity and even occasional ferocity on tracks
like "Chilly Water" and the blues "Wheelbarrow". It is deeper in the
direction of the songs "Evening Train" and "Although It Is The Night"
and the thing that distinguishes it for me is that it is not remotely
safe in approach. Because my writing has a spiritual undertone too
often associated with some kind of conservatism or contemporary
Christian music, people who don't really listen closely assume the
music is a bit staid and too pat, even over produced.

Evening Train was supposed to be my RECORD!!!-------- my personal
Achtung Baby or Peter Gabriel's Us. I wanted it to be cinematic,
arranged, involving Horn Sections and Strings, showing off my life as
an arranger and orchestrator and I wanted it to be a journey of some
sonic quality and significance. It was mixed by the peerless Mick
Guzauski who won the Grammy for mixing Eric Clapton last year. I am
deeply proud of it BUT............

I recognize this is a time in music history, especially recording
industry history, where immediacy is gone. Everything is processed,
tuned to within an inch of its life, moved, prodded, corrected and
manicured. When it is done by masters on big gleaming acts like
Beyonce or John Mayer, it works and audio quality has never been
clearer in a way. However, the kind of intensity that one gets from In
Rainbows by Radiohead is all too rare.

It is time for vocals to be allowed to be NOT PERFECT. It is time for
people to stop matching the bass drum to the bass or to move
everything around for musical perfection or, better put, seeming
musical perfection.

Wheelbarrow will be rawer and largely uncorrected, no tuning of vocals
(though on Train there no tuning on the lead vocals at all). Though
there will be more of the meditative and softer side of what I do, it
will seem like a more direct listening experience than Train does,
more stripped down. Some will find it less impressive perhaps but from
a writing and performance perspective, it is the best I have not
unlike the Concertino.

I cannot finish it in this economy. I don't need the funds I had for
Train, largely supported by the money I made working literally around
the clock at the height of the music business when even Classical CD's
occasionally went gold. BUT............. I do need funds to at least
finish it well. I have not sung anything except live scratch vocals,
no Guitar tracks, no keyboards, just Billy, Will and Shawn recorded
and done. They played beautifully and sounded amazing. We played
everything live and I wish I could keep my tracks but the recording
realities did not allow that. I am sure I will save and have those
funds within the next year or two. Best case scenario, WHEELBARROW
will come out for Christmas 2009. Worst case....2010. It will not be
overbaked in the slightest. I just have to spend the little time on it
it needs. I will get it done and get it done right.

That is it. There have been other things going on but that is most of
it. Come to the Christmas show if you can. Happy 2009.



Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Finally----a new slice of Key Lime Pie---->>>>

A number of years ago we set up this site to be a slightly hipper site companion to robmathes.com. That site was set up by the people who filmed my Xmas Concert and is more than a bit corporate and provincial in look and feel (sorry----they meant well). When we did it, I started writing some little blogs about music and they still stand up I think though are decrepit and aged. I have not kept up to date so here is a much needed new one.

I want to comment a bit on Panic At The Disco's record since it occupied me 24 hours a day for the better part of 5 months, including the time spent with them in the mountains when they were writing and in L.A. when they were working on that initial material. I'll do that at a later date (most likely when the record is no longer new unfortunately). Here are some new faves:

1. Radiohead---In Rainbows---I know nothing need be said, it's old news, and by writing this I am just jumping on the extraordinarily overloaded bandwagon but I need to say something about it anyway. While making the Panic At The Disco record the boys played me a bunch of things, especially Jon Walker who is a music maven and has as large a collection of stuff as anybody I have ever seen. We listened to Coheed and Cambria, Supergrass, The Killers, Sigur Ros, Bjork, Feist, and a ton of other stuff. I actually loved the Feist record. Though her voice does leave me a touch wanting after 12 songs of charmingly quirky production, she is a gem, a true artist who clearly is a few inches taller than the rest of the pack. BUT I DIGRESS (as usual.) I kept returning to my room at the end of the night and putting on In Rainbows, over and over and over and over. Why???? Do I think that they are the great Messiahs???? Well...... I guess not but here is what is so unique and rare. Yes, Thom Yorke can seem to be moaning for a half hour when you listen and are looking for a chorus to hang your hat on. THAT BEING SAID, this is a band of great visionary musicians, which in so many cases is the kiss of death. Often the good musicians can get overly cute and clever and put in too many twists and turns, way too much information. They make the art of Pop music into a weight lifting event.
Believe me I know. Listen, I love Steely Dan chords as well as anybody (they are actually Duke Ellington chords but that is another conversation). I also love the strength technically of both Mars Volta and Tool BUT....... with Radiohead you get both the pop capability of a band like XTC at their best mixed with a kind of Lou Reed meets Pink Floyd sensibility. I know that sounds odd but at no point in the listening experience do you ever say, "Aw, bullshit!" At least I don't.
It is pure and unfiltered madness mixed with phenomenal music making alongside a kind of trance like calm at times. An absolute must own. To hell with the download. Buy a copy or, even better, buy 2 copies; one for the home and one for the car. This is the kind of record that would be criminal to get for free though they allowed it. It is too good. If that record is given away, then what are the rest of us worth?

2. Pretty. Odd. Panic At The Disco---We know already. I produced it and am proud of it but more importantly, these are kids that were not taken seriously by musicos and older listeners last year. They are now really coming into their own as writers and are not afraid to lay on the kitchen sink in an unbridled move towards pure joy. What record have you bought recently that laughs at itself on a regular basis??

3. The Amazing Story of The Who---Absolutely magnificent DVD documentary on this miracle of a rock band. Most moving of all to me, and quite continually moving in the weeks and days after my initial exposure, is the documentary on Roger Daltry on the second disc. It is part of a package on each member called "Six Quick Ones". (Daltry is the most forthcoming and emotional in his responses on the main documentary.)All this said, there is this amazing moment where Pete Townshend describes Daltry singing a new composition of his called "Real Good Looking Boy" at some benefit in the States and making it his own song even more than usual. You get to see actual footage of what Pete is describing. When Pete stands up at the end of the song and is staring at Roger singing this new composition of his, it is absolutely heartbreaking in a joyous and inspirational way. I break down every time I watch it. First of all; it is, in its studio version, a very strong new Pete song. The Elvis intro is a bit staid and corny in that version but LIVE with Roger on Acoustic, it is stunning I think. Most important of all are these two men, who have made so many beautiful and timeless things together, describing their devotion and respect for each other. Essential. Absolutely essential I think but then; I am a sap.

4. Barenboim on Beethoven: Even if you are a die in the wool Jazz and Rock person, not much classical, this may be worth checking out though it is a bit of a geek buy. This is Daniel Barenboim playing, at age 65, all 32 Beethoven Piano Sonatas for memory in the space of about two weeks; 8 concerts in Berlin, each about two hours + in length. Daniel Barenboim, statesmen, conductor without peer right now except perhaps Abbado and Rattle, and one of the finest pianists in the world. His technique is astonishing at 65, let alone 25. There are a few rusty moments but it is small minded to even mention those. This is a man that has recorded the entire cycle twice in his life and who has been playing these pieces since he was a child prodigy. Add to this his wisdom and his experience as an extraordinary conductor and you have pure gold in your hands.The Beethoven Piano Sonatas to me are like the Pyramids, proof of something beyond us. Fuck Richard Dawkins (excuse the language---I apologize). He is one smart mofo but I don't buy it. If after listening to the last five Beethoven sonatas you don't get the sense of something metaphysical, some great creative stream behind the universe, well...... then...... uh..... I don't know what to say though I respect your right to see it differently. These, in the hands of Daniel Barenboim, are as powerful as Mahler in the hands of Leonard Bernstein or Britten's songs sung by Peter Pears or Gershwin's Porgy played by Miles. We are privileged to be alive and to be able to witness such wisdom and giftedness. Barenboim is just beyond belief. Age 65: hours and hours of the most difficult and brilliant Piano music ever written: all memorized and communicated with a depth that is unparalleled?????? Please.....!!!!
This is why I get pissed off when I work with Pop artists that are full of themselves. I don't care if your name is Prince, Keith Richards or Paul McCartney. You ain't frickin' Beethoven. Or Barenboim for that matter.

5. Chris Brown---Damn that fricker can dance!!

6. Sigur Ros--Heima--miracles do happen and great, great art and music is being created RIGHT NOW.

7. Bruce Springsteen--Radio Nowhere---the album has too many songs where he goes from the 1 chord to the 4 chord over and over again BUT...... he is a bad ass and that song is one of his strongest in a while. Scope out his wife Patti Scialfa's Looking For Elvis (The VIDEO) with Steve Jordan, the absolutely remarkable Larry Campbell on Guitar and others. Pretty special.

8. Thomas Ades---Violin Concerto---This is only available as a download on itunes plus (slightly better sound) but it is a concerto written by Ades, one of our greatest contemporary composers, for the incomparable Anthony Marwood on Violin. It is just vibey and cool as hell, rigorous, beautiful, otherworldly, accomplished and inspiring.Being a composer myself, I have modest goals: to write music that is deeply felt, firmly tonal and beautifully rendered if possible. Ades on the other hand, one of the very best and in an entirely different universe, has the modern composer's creed in hand at all times. EXPAND THE LANGUAGE>>>>EXPAND THE LANGUAGE>>> Post Stravinsky and Boulez this is well nigh impossible. He's doing it!!! but then.........he's a certifiable genius. Scope it.

9. Joni Mitchell--Both Sides Now----I know, it's old and was put out years ago but I am talking about her orchestral version arranged by Vince Mendoza. Just heartbreaking. It is so difficult to write an arrangement on a ballad and not be smarmy, boring, overly precious, too hip for the room harmonically, Mahlerian, a Jeremy Lubbock rip off or a million other things. We all know the same damn voicings, the warm minor 9ths, the open Copland spaces. It gets old. You start to understand why Schoenberg came up with his 12 tone system of serial and atonal music. Mendoza hit a grand slam to win the world series of Arrangements in the early 21st century though. By channeling both Arvo Part and John Taverner plus Gorecki's 3rd Symphony, he just kills it. Magnificent and so touching. It was used for a moving scene with Emma Thompson in the film Love Actually. Check out the youtube version with Joni singing it at the end of an evening devoted to her music. Makes life worth living and more proof of the supernatural as far as little ole' me is concerned. You can download it off of Dreamland, a new Joni collection on itunes.

10. Mozart's Violin Concertos with Claudio Abbado and Giuliano Carmignola. Unbelievable. Pure, unadorned by excessive vibrato. Baroque style period instrument approach, small orchestra. Like Chamber music and so refreshing because of it. To hell with Disney sized orchestras unless you're Olivier Messiaen. This is early Mozart. A genius teenager wrote these pieces. More proof. Buy it now. This and Radiohead are the absolute essentials.

I am grateful someone reads these blogs now and again. I am so grateful for music, for Mahler, for Miles, for Mitchell, for the Missa Solemnis, for so many other musics. Take care. Until next time.

Rob Mathes

Monday, November 12, 2007




8:00 PM, DECEMBER 21 & 22, 2007

The Concert Hall at the Performing Arts Center at Purchase College

(GREENWICH, Conn., November 2nd, 2007) – Music often takes center stage during the holidays, bringing the joy and tradition of the season to the forefront. And Rob Mathes, the Grammy and Emmy nominated music director, singer/songwriter, arranger, and record producer, takes the music of the holidays to a new level with his all-star band and musically rich renditions of classic carols and original songs. This year, make it your holiday tradition to see the 14th annual ROB MATHES CHRISTMAS CONCERT, with shows at 8 p.m., Friday, December 21, and Saturday, December 22, 2007, at the Performing Arts Center in Purchase, N.Y. Joining Rob on stage are some of the top musicians in the New York metropolitan area - Will Lee on Bass from David Letterman's CBS Orchestra; Shawn Pelton on Drums from Saturday Night Live; Billy Masters on Guitar who has played with Suzanne Vega and Cry, Cry, Cry; vocals by award-winning blues, jazz and gospel singers Vaneese Thomas and James “D-Train” Williams, both who have worked with legends in the business including Eric Clapton and Michael Jackson; singer Ian Cron; and the 30-member Rob Mathes Friends & Saints Choir. Tickets for the concert are $30, $40 and $75 ($75 tickets are premium seating that includes a signed double CD of the newly released “Orchestral Songs” by Rob), and are available online at www.artscenter.org, by calling the Performing Arts Center Box Office (914-251-6200), or at The Music Source in Old Greenwich, Conn. (203-698-0444 or 1345 E. Putnam, Old Greenwich, Conn.).

While Rob Mathes has a loyal following, with thousands attending the Christmas Concert each year, those new to the concerts will be thrilled with the show that includes Rob’s contemplative songs along with his edgier versions of carols which can often veer towards the jazzier Ellington meets Miles Davis all the way to the rock ‘n roll of Pete Townshend with the band. This year Mathes will be celebrating the release of his first new CD in 6 years called “Orchestral Songs” and, as usual will be visiting some of his older Christmas Music not played at the Concerts in years as well as bringing in brand spanking new arrangements of carols.

“If there is a theme at all for me this year, it is gratitude. Every year, because of the enthusiasm of this remarkable audience of people that come, I am able to make world class music with my illustrious friends, among New York’s Finest musically. This is a great gift. I became a music producer, composer and arranger as opposed to the Pop star I wanted to be in high school. That being said, this concert allows us all to perform for a group of people that cheer as loudly and listen as attentively as the audience at a Radiohead concert. For this I am remarkably grateful. That “Gratitude” will result in a concert that hopefully will be our best ever, always our goal.” noted Mathes.

Rob has spent much of this year working with the MTV Video of The Year winners Panic! At The Disco. Their first record landed them on the cover of Rolling Stone and sold 2 million copies globally. Rob co-produced and arranged their version of Danny Elfman’s “This Is Halloween” for the re-release of Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas last year. He and the band hit it off. They did not want the Rock Producer of the moment to do their next record (normally the way of most bands). They wrote a number of new songs both more musically exploratory and intricate than their first record and wanted a musician and composer that could help them essentially do anything they wanted musically from working with orchestra to getting post-modern guitar sounds. The project is one that Rob calls “the most significant music project I have done in a while in that it is young and intense, adventurous and endlessly creative. Working with these young kids has made me look at music the way I did when I discovered early records by The Who and Brian Eno-period David Bowie when I was 16. For this project I am also filled with “gratitude”. Mathes also worked extensively with Hip-Hop producer Just Blaze working on new records by Jay Z, Fabolous, and Ghostface Killah. Add to this his continuing work for producer Phil Ramone on projects like the soundtrack for the upcoming film “August Rush” and Country Star Shelby Lynne’s new record, his work for The Boston Pops, an upcoming Classical commission for The Nashville Symphony and Leonard Slatkin, and arrangements for pop stars Fall Out Boy, Bowling For Soup, Butch Walker and Avril Lavigne and you have the same as usual schizophrenic-genre bending Mathes universe.

“It is the only way I like it. Dad loved Dylan, Auntie Jan turned me onto Motown, Mom loved Chopin, and Uncle Skip loved Ellington. I was brought up on it all and I CANNOT live without all of that in my life and in my Christmas Concert.”

As if that weren’t enough, Mathes was nominated for an Emmy for musically directing the Kennedy Center Honors, which he will do this year for the fifth year in a row and finished his own long awaited double CD of incredible Orchestral Songs, which will debut at this year’s Christmas Concert. The Kennedy Center Honors, which airs on CBS on December 26th, will celebrate 30 years and bestow its annual honors this year to Steve Martin, Diana Ross, Leon Fleisher, Martin Scorsese, and Brian Wilson.

Other credits in Rob’s repertoire include working with: Elton John, Eric Clapton, Lou Reed, Tony Bennett, Natalie Cole, Aretha Franklin, Carly Simon, Stevie Wonder, Vanessa Williams, Luciano Pavarotti, Michael McDonald, Sheryl Crow, Tracy Chapman, Hall and Oates, Yo Yo Ma, Renee Fleming and many more. Rob also had his talented hands involved with working on the score for the movie Astronaut Farmer and producing a record for Fernando Lima, a counter-tenor from Spain on EMI Classics, recorded with a full orchestra at Rob’s “home away from home,” Abbey Road Studios in London. After all of it, Rob still says that the focal point of his year and the highlight of his year are coming home and performing the Christmas Concerts.

The Christmas Concerts will feature music that embraces all aspects of the holiday season - from Christmas to Hanukkah. Rob will perform some new material, as well as audience favorites (When The Baby Grew Up, William The Angel, and Wake Up. It’s Christmas Morning) and include music for all faiths, including the beautiful Light In The Window written for a local fan and longtime supporter of the event, Rabbi Mark Golub. Rob also loves throwing in a little Bob Dylan each year with the song Ring Them Bells and will play his other much-loved and original Christmas favorites. Much of the new record “Orchestral Songs” was recorded with full Orchestra in London but Rob will perform a few of these more intimately at the concert celebrating this “long in the making” project’s release.

“I look forward to the Christmas Concert all year long,” said Rob. “I try to bring the joy of the holiday season to the shows, but with a sophistication to the music that rivals any holiday offering from an entertainment standpoint. It pleases me tremendously to know that my concerts have become part of a holiday tradition for many and I love being able to introduce my music to new audiences as well.”

Tickets for the Rob Mathes Christmas Concert are available online and can be obtained by logging onto www.artscenter.org, or through The Music Source in Old Greenwich (203-698-0444). Each year, the Rob Mathes Christmas Concert is held as a benefit for a charitable organization. This year, The Rob Mathes Christmas Concert will benefit XXXXXXXX and support XXXXXXXX efforts in XXXXXXXXXX. The concerts will be held on Friday, December 21, and Saturday, December 22, 2007, at the Performing Arts Center in Purchase, N.Y. To learn more about Rob Mathes, visit www.RobMathesMusic.com or www.RobMathes.com.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006




DECEMBER 22 & 23, 2006

The Concert Hall at the Performing Arts Center at Purchase College

(GREENWICH, Conn., November 26, 2006) - The holidays are here and it is time for the annual Rob Mathes Christmas Concert (the 13th annual), a holiday tradition for many in the area. Rob Mathes is best known locally for his original Christmas music, however, he is also an Emmy nominated music director, singer/songwriter, arranger and composer, and this year, an up-and-coming record producer. The 2006 Rob Mathes Christmas Concert will be held on Friday, December 22, and Saturday, December 23, at the Performing Arts Center in Purchase, N.Y. Joining Rob on stage will be some of the top musicians in the New York metropolitan area - Will Lee on Bass from David Letterman's CBS Orchestra; Shawn Pelton on Drums from Saturday Night Live; Billy Masters on Guitar who has played with Suzanne Vega and Cry, Cry, Cry; vocals by award-winning blues, jazz and gospel singers Vaneese Thomas and James “D-Train” Williams, both who have worked with legendary singers in the business including Eric Clapton and Michael Jackson; singer Ian Cron; the 30-member Rob Mathes Friends & Saints Choir; and an amazing horn section including members of Paul Simon’s band and The Rolling Stones horn section. Tickets for the concert are $30 and $40 and are available online at www.artscenter.org, by calling the Performing Arts Center Box Office (914-251-6200), or at The Music Source in Old Greenwich, Conn. (203-698-0444 or 1345 E. Putnam, Old Greenwich, Conn.). This year's concert will benefit the charity World Vision and its work in Africa and will also showcase new photographs from the award-winning photography exhibit Through the Eyes of Children: The Rwanda Project. Rob's holiday concerts have benefited Rwandan children for the past four years. To learn more about Rob Mathes, his music and his Christmas Concert, visit www.RobMathesMusic.com. The Performing Arts Center is located at 735 Anderson Hill Road, Purchase, N.Y.

Around 2000 people come every year to hear Rob’s contemplative songs along with his edgier versions of carols which can often veer towards Ellington with the horns and Pete Townshend with the band. This year the theme is “Joy.” Rob promises that the musical performances will be mostly up-tempo and uplifting. In Rob’s words, “This year has been so disturbing globally with events in Dafur, Iraq, and North Korea, let alone troubles at home, that I have decided not to get too contemplative like we did post 9/11. I want this year’s concerts to provide a respite from the world for a moment. I am reminded of a phrase that rings true: ‘Tomorrow is a mystery, Yesterday is history, and Today is a gift.’ The Christmas Concert is a gift to me and my musicians every year. We get to perform world-class music in the best of settings, full of Jazz and Blues elements and even Classical and Hymn-like harmonies with our choir. I want to rejoice in that and be thankful.”

The concerts will feature music that embraces all aspects of the holiday season - from Christmas to Hanukkah. Rob will introduce some new songs to the audience this year (Bells, Bells, Bells), as well as some arrangements especially written for Vaneese Thomas (Sister Mary) and James “D-Train” Williams (Children Go Where I Send Thee). In addition, the much-loved song Light In The Window performed last year for the first time and written for a local fan and longtime supporter of the event, Rabbi Mark Golub, will be part of the concerts again this year. Rob also plans on throwing in a little Bob Dylan with the song Dignity and will play his much-loved and original Christmas favorites. This year's concert will also be taped for later release on a CD.

“The Christmas Concert is very close to my heart and something I look forward to all year,” said Rob. “I try to bring sophistication to the music that rivals any holiday offering from an entertainment standpoint, yet at the same time, I would like to think it is a joyous and spiritually deep event as it has become a holiday tradition for many.”

Rob Mathes has had a busy year - and one of his most exciting professionally. He will be coming to the annual Christmas Concert after musically directing the Kennedy Center Honors - the fourth in a row he has musically directed, that honors conductor Zubin Mehta; singer, songwriter and producer Smokey Robinson; country music star Dolly Parton; musical theater composer and producer Andrew Lloyd Webber; and film director and producer Steven Spielberg. Some other highlights of Rob's musical career this year include an Emmy nomination for his work on last year’s Kennedy Center Honors; co-writing, orchestrating and conducting the score for the upcoming major motion picture Astronaut Farmer featuring Billy Bob Thornton and Bruce Willis; and working with Hall and Oates on the first Hall and Oates Christmas record, Home for Christmas, recorded at Abbey Road in London. Rob played and arranged several songs and was particularly thrilled when Daryl Hall recorded one of Rob's arrangements written originally for his Christmas Concerts, “It Came Upon A Midnight Clear.” He also produced two records this year, one for Mig Ayesa, a new artist on Universal and the other for Fernando Lima, a counter-tenor from Spain on EMI Classics, recorded with a full orchestra and also at Rob’s home away from home, Abbey Road Studios in London. In addition to this, Rob wrote a ton of string arrangements for artists as far flung as Butch Walker, Avril Lavigne, Kris Kristofferson, The Boston Pops, Bowling for Soup, an edgy punk-pop band Hot Hot Heat and Carole King, as well as working with legendary producer David Foster on the artists Peter Cincotti and Renee Olmstead. To round it all off, Rob also co-produced a track with Panic! At The Disco, the MTV Video Of The Year winners for the re-released Tim Burton film The Nightmare Before Christmas.

After all this, Rob still says that the focal point of his year and the highlight of his year are performing the Christmas Concerts.

Tickets for the Rob Mathes Christmas Concert are available this year online and can be obtained by logging onto www.artscenter.org, or through The Music Source in Old Greenwich (203-698-0444). The Rob Mathes Christmas Concert will benefit World Vision and support World Vision's efforts in Africa and Rwanda, a place close to Rob's heart. Rob has personally visited Rwanda and has dedicated several of his Christmas Concerts to supporting the Rwandan people. To learn more about World Vision, visit www.WorldVision.org. To learn more about Rob Mathes, visit www.RobMathesMusic.com or www.RobMathes.com.

Thursday, November 16, 2006


8:00 PM, Friday, December 22 &
8:00 PM, Saturday, December 23

The Performing Arts Center
Purchase College
735 Anderson Hill Road
Purchase, NY

Come hear the joyous music of the holiday season with Rob Mathes and his amazing band including: Will Lee on Bass, Shawn Pelton on Drums, Billy Masters on Guitar, vocals by Vaneese Thomas, James “D-Train” Williams and Ian Cron, the 30- member Rob Mathes Friends & Saints Choir, and an amazing horn section

To purchase tickets, call The Music Source at 203-698-0444 or visit the Performing Arts Center website (see below)

Tickets: $30 & $40
For purchasing tickets online, visit www.artscenter.org (click here)

Friday, November 18, 2005